Saint John the Baptist

Lucas Cranach the Elder1550 - 1552

Museo Poldi Pezzoli

Museo Poldi Pezzoli

The two panels form a diptych in which the Virgin and St. John the Baptist are set against the same landscape background. The Baptist can be identified by his attributes – the mantle of hair, the book, the lamb and the cross – and by the inscription on the scroll: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” The Virgin, with her feet resting on the crescent moon, an iconography common in northern Europe, is crowned by two angels, while Jesus takes a red rose, a symbol of the Queen of Heaven, from his mother’s hand.
Despite their small dimensions, the two panels are rich in details. Next to the Virgin can be seen the small dragon used as a signature by Lucas Cranach, one of the most important German painters of the sixteenth-century. The diptych can be dated to the years between 1550 and 1552, when the artist was in Augsburg, where he had the chance to study Italian works, echoed in the sculptural figure of the Baptist.

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  • Title: Saint John the Baptist
  • Creator: Lucas Cranach the Elder
  • Date Created: 1550 - 1552
  • Physical Dimensions: w12.5 x h18.3 cm
  • Rights: Fondazione artistica Poldi Pezzoli "Onlus"
  • External Link: http://www.museopoldipezzoli.it/#!/en/discover/collections/945
  • Medium: Oil on panel